Kolkata, 14 March 2001
For some, like Sachin Tendulkar, greatness comes naturally. For others, like Rahul Dravid, who have it in them to aspire to greatness, it is a peak, which when scaled has a fairytale quality to it. Dravid's aggressive yet anxious waving of his bat in the direction of the media box located at the top of the Eden Gardens club house was one such.
He had been dropped to No. 6 in the batting order, severely criticised for failing against Steve Waugh's mighty Australians, and was suffering cramps and dehydration. The innings was one best described as effort and toil personified.
It all came together in that one moment: both hands went up in triumph, but soon the bat went straight up for the media box. The face, which said nothing, said it all. It announced the maturing of Dravid the team man - one who can certainly aspire to the position of India's best and most dependable batsman of all time.
It was a moment that encapsulated his cricketing philosophy - nothing comes easy, but when it does, it is deeply satisfying, for it is a product of much hard work. It is a moment little remembered for it was overshadowed by other feats. It was vintage Dravid - unassuming but forthright.
This article was first published in the print version of Cricinfo Magazine